• Tue, Aug 23 2011

THE EDITORS SURVIVE!: New York’s Pulse-Pounding Earthquake

Like this, only the computers stayed on.

Just now, editors Jennifer Wright and Ashley Cardiff survived (a totally gentle, almost imperceptible aftershock of) A TERRIFYING EARTHQUAKE. Once Jennifer’s breathing returned to normal, she and (California-bred) Ashley had a quick post-mortem about this not remotely devastating event.

Jennifer: OMG THAT WAS FUCKING TERRIFYING THE GROUND WAS LIKE ‘HI, I AM MOVING YOUR BUILDINGS AROUND.’

Ashley: That wasn’t an earthquake. That was a reach-around. From Virginia.

Jennifer: THAT WAS THE BEGINING OF THE END. JOHN CUSACK IS HOVERBOARDING RIGHT NOW. SOMEWHERE.

Ashley: Maybe you can’t be reasoned with right now.

Jennifer: IT WAS REGARDLESS QUITE FRIGHTENING. THE EARTH DIPPED. AND OUR BUILDINGS IN NEW YORK ARE NOT PREPARED FOR THIS.

Ashley: That’s true. I guess New York’s buildings aren’t retrofitted. Or, they’re hopelessly unequipped for any sort of seismic activity.

We're waiting to find out if we can leave work early. Pray for us.

Jennifer: So, when there is another Earthquake we should… run into the streets? Being killed under a collapsing building is my maybe 42nd worst fear.

Ashley:You’re afraid of being crushed? I tend to think most people just have this pervasive, abject dread about the ground not being stable. Like, to be rent from this idea you take for granted everyday. I guess I thought the panic was more of a sudden poisoning of the blood, not anxiety rooted in reason.

Jennifer: No, no, I don’t want a building to collapse on me. Imagine how awful it would be. Lying in rubble. You might be there for hours, or days, just slowly… expiring. HOW DO WE GET ALL OUR BUILDINGS RETROFITTED? Is it true they evacuated everyone on Park avenue? Where to?

Ashley: That was a hilarious rumor, but maybe there’s a special earthquake refugee place? Probably some place in Midtown where everyone can replace their Blahniks because now they’ve sweated in them and effectively ruined the lining. We should donate prosecco and Perrier to them, in the wake of this horrible tragedy.

At least this experience taught us about the human toll.

Jennifer: Ashley, it’s not a joke. My mug rattled around on my desk and tipped over a little bit.

Ashley: No it didn’t.

Jennifer: Yes, it did.

Ashley: Don’t just lie, Jennifer.

Jennifer: It went rattle, rattle, rattle, almost tip, rattle. True, it did not tip over all the way, but that’s because I righted it.

Ashley: You sent a message to God that you weren’t to be toyed with.

Jennifer: I said “God, this ceramic Mad Men mug from Banana Republic? This baby isn’t going to die.” I think that’s what bravery is.

Fuck you, God.

Ashley: That and benevolence under pressure. How is your heart so big?

Jennifer: I want you to know that when I ran to the door and asked your permission to leave the building – well, that’s the kind of cool-headed thinking I’ll always exhibit under stress. I’m not saying this for your benefit so much as I’m saying it so I can be invited to go to the Park Avenue Winner’s Secret Shelter next time.

Ashley: Remember how I just sat there, confused? Because I am from the land of earthquakes and just felt a surge of fondness? Remember how I watched you shatter? I’m sorry I failed you like that. I was Icarus. Prideful, pridfeul Icarus.

Jennifer: You mean Lucifer.

Ashley: One of them.

FOX News: "Some religious leaders are speculating the earthquake happened as divine retribution for New York's permissive attitude toward man-bird hybrids."

Jennifer: Are you saying you’re going to fly us out the next time one of these puppies hits?

Ashley: It’s a California thing.

Jennifer: Tell the story about that time when there was an earthquake.

Ashley: Close your eyes.

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  • Z

    Actually, it wasn’t an aftershock. You won’t feel the aftershocks that far north.

    • Ashley Cardiff

      i changed it to “reach around.”

    • OG

      Best change ever.

  • Fatima

    I hate to go back and forth, especially since “reach around” works so well, but … It was and is being called an aftershock. There is no limit on how far an aftershock can be felt.

    If not an aftershock what would you call it? It wasn’t an actual earthquake. USGS has the earthquake listed as originating in Virginia. A 5.8 earthquake in NY would definitely bring buildings down not just cause swaying. Either way it was no big deal.

    - DC resident, California native.

    • Jordan

      Aftershocks can be felt several hundred miles from the epicenter, it totally depends on how “deep” the earthquake was. Also the East coast is based on granite so tremors feel more violent than the actual magnitude of the quake.

  • August S.

    We felt it in Boston! No one had any idea what was happening. Several bars in Southie offered discounted drinks to “earthquake survivors” that night, possibly as part of a diabolical plot by the Natural Disaster League to creative positive associations in people’s minds between “earthquakes” and “cheap liqueur”. It worked. Hooray ground-shaking good times!

  • Eileen

    I was in my car, driving. Got to Starbucks and they were talking about it…and I’d missed it. My friends in DC were afraid it was an attack or something.